If you’re trying to take steps towards living a more eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle, one of the best things you can do is, of course, to reduce your plastic intake – of course, this is often easier said than done, and it’s why Plastic-Free July is such a great way to start thinking about how much plastic you’re using!
What is Plastic-Free July?
Simply put, Plastic-Free July is a challenge in which the goal is to not use plastic at all – in packaging, when buying products, or anywhere else. Lots of people do adjust the challenge to make it more achievable for them, but at its core, it’s all about trying to use little to no additional plastic throughout the whole month of July.
In the UK alone, we throw away a whopping 295 billion pieces of plastic every year, and about 15 million single-use plastic bottles every single day. For this reason, small changes can make a big difference when it comes to our output, both individually and as a planet!
So then, without further ado, we’re going to share some of our top tips for taking part in – and sticking to – Plastic-Free July!
Grab a bag for life
It’s probably not news to any of us that supermarket and retail store carrier bags are one of the worst offenders when it comes to plastic usage – in fact, in the UK alone, we’re thought to use 13 billion of these every year! Plastic bags can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade, and even then, their residue tends to linger – so minimising your usage is definitely something you should be prioritising!
Luckily, there are lots of great alternatives for your next shop, from a good old Bag for Life, offered by most supermarkets and chain retailers, to a trusty tote bag – making sure you have one of these with you whenever you’re popping to the shops can help both your carbon footprint and your wallet!
Refill your bottles (and cups!)
When you’re out and about in the hotter months, it’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated – or to realise too late that you’re thirsty, and head into the nearest store for a slightly overpriced bottle of water! However, single-use plastic bottles are one of the most common items found in landfills, and contribute hugely to plastic pollution – that’s why, this July, it’s worth investing in a reusable water bottle or coffee cup – so your daily drink stops can be a little greener!
Okay, we know we’ve already mentioned plastic bags once, but hear us out – this time we’re talking about fruit and veg! Most supermarkets still offer plastic bags to hold fruit and veg whilst in your trolleys, but how long do those bags usually last once you’re at home? If you’re anything like us, you dispose of them pretty quickly, which can hugely contribute to your home’s plastic consumption! Keep fruit and veg separately in your trolley when you’re shopping, where possible, or in a small tote bag ready for checkout!
Go on the hunt…for refills!
So-called ‘refill shops’ have become more and more popular in recent years, and for good reason! These shops shun traditionally packaged food and cleaning products, opting instead to let customers fill their own containers with products – saving both plastic and money for you! What more could you ask for?
Make simple, sustainable swaps
If you’re thinking of taking part in Plastic-Free July, chances are you’re thinking about your carbon footprint in general – and this is the perfect excuse to make some long-lasting swaps, too! Opting for beeswax wraps instead of cling film, picking up plastic-free tea bags and dishwasher tablets, or investing in bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones are all great ways to incorporate less plastic consumption into your day-to-day life, year-round!
We really hope you’ve found some helpful tips in this blog post to help you get involved this Plastic-Free July, as well as making some long-term changes for the rest of the year, too! This month is a great excuse to have a think about your plastic consumption and any small changes you can make to lower this usage for the whole family!
Have you got any great tips for using less plastic in your home? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below!